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Sindhu becomes first Indian to win World Championships

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PV Sindhu
File Picture : Ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu

Basel (Switzerland), Aug 25 (IANS) Ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win the BWF World Championships, crushing Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in just 36 minutes in a one-sided final.

Sindhu’s gold is the second medal that India won at the Worlds this year with Sai Praneeth winning a bronze in men’s singles category.

The last time Sindhu and Okuhara met in a World Championships final was in 2017. In a pulsating encounter that lasted nearly two hours and involved a 73-shot rally, Okuhara emerged victorious in the end. Sindhu again reached the final in 2018, only to go down to Carolina Marín of Spain. However, she finally broke the jinx this time, brushing aside her opponent with a dominant show from start to finish.

In stark contrast to world No. Sindhu, the Japanese world No. 4 on Sunday looked completely at sea against the Indian star’s relentless attacks.

Although Okuhara won the first point of the first game, Sindhu won eight straight points after that to race to a 8-1 lead. Okuhara managed just one more point before the interval with Sindhu leading 11-2.

The mauling continued for much of the second period of the opener, which ended in just 16 minutes. Okuhara got a few consecutive points towards the end to extend her score to 7 but Sindhu sealed the issue on her first game point.

In the second game, Okuhara briefly kept pace until the score was 3-2 in Sindhu’s favour after which the Indian took six consecutive points to race to a 9-2 lead.

Okuhara won two more points but Sindhu kept her foot on the pedal and went into the interval with a 11-4 lead.

Okuhara went on to take just three more points in the second period as Sindhu continued to storm her way to the title. Once again, she managed to get over the line on her first match point.

This was the 16th match between Sindhu and Okuhara. Sindhu now leads 9-7 head-to-head, including three victories in the last five meetings before Sunday’s clash.

Both players had not won a title this year. While Okuhara reached the final after a hard fought 17-21, 21-18, 21-15 win against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, Sindhu swatted aside China’s Chen Yu Fei 21-7, 21-14 in her semifinal clash.

This is Sindhu’s fifth medal at the World Championships, which is the joint highest in women’s singles in the history of the tournament along with Xhang Ning of China, a two-time Olympic gold medallist. Apart from the two silvers Sindhu won in the last two editions, she had also won the bronze in 2013 and 2014.

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Athletic Bilbao beat Barcelona to win Spanish Super Cup, Messi sent off

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Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was sent off for violent conduct as Athletic Bilbao stunned Barcelona to win the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday, a dramatic final finishing 3-2 after extra-time.

Moments before Bilbao’s momentous triumph was confirmed, Messi lashed out at Asier Villalibre, who had earlier scored a 90th-minute equaliser in normal time to deny Barca victory.

Antoine Griezmann’s double looked to have sealed the trophy for Barcelona but Villalibre intervened before Inaki Williams’ fabulous strike three minutes into extra time proved decisive.

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‘What killed Maradona?’ shows the flipside of life of a football god

It isn’t quite the same territory as Asif Kapadia’s account of Maradona’s years in Italy but gives enough information to provide a sense of closure to those fans of the legendary forward who still suspect foul play in his death.

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diego maradona argentina

New Delhi, Jan 15 : Diego Maradona’s death on November 2, 2020 was followed by a flood of tributes from around the world and all walks of life. His death had been attributed to a heart attack but it wasn’t this alone that caused arguably the greatest footballer of all time to die at the age of 60.

It is this point that the Discovery Plus documentary ‘What Killed Maradona?’ tries to put across. It features interviews with writers and journalists who have followed Maradona’s life along with his former fitness trainer Fernando Signorini and his former Napoli team mate and captain Giuseppe Bruscolotti. It also features interviews with health experts and psychologists who give a perspective on the kind of toll the rough nature of the sport in the era that Maradona was playing in, the rudimentary manner in which he was medicated for his injuries and his addiction to alcohol and cocaine kept chipping away at his health, particularly the strength of his heart.

Additionally, it also gives a brief insight into the mental and physical toll that comes with the kind of adulation that Maradona received. One of the ways in which he coped with it is by separating himself into two different individuals — ‘Diego’ was the player whose job was to play football and take care of his family while ‘Maradona’ is the larger than life figure that people in Naples and Argentina adore.

Just over 40 minutes long, the assortment of individuals that lend their voices along with footage from Maradona’s playing days and after helps the documentary paper over the repetitive nature of the footage and, towards the latter stages, a few abrupt editing cuts. It isn’t quite the same territory as Asif Kapadia’s account of Maradona’s years in Italy but gives enough information to provide a sense of closure to those fans of the legendary forward who still suspect foul play in his death.

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Entertainment

Sonu Sood plans pan-India platform for young emerging cricketers

Since last year, Sonu has turned focus on social causes. In 2020, amid Covid lockdown, he reportedly arranged transport to facilitate around 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach home.

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Sonu Sood

Mumbai, Jan 16 : Actor Sonu Sood is putting his weight behind an initiative to set up a pan-India platform to promote young emerging cricketers.

“I always dreamt of becoming a cricketer but I didn’t have a platform in our small town, but when I see all these young kids playing cricket it feels really good,” Sonu said.

He says pitching in for the cause of promoting budding talent in cricket will also let him take time off his busy schedule and reinvent his passion for the sport.

“I like batting as well as bowling but I didn’t get much time to play the sport. I feel we all should take some out from our busy work schedules and reinvent our passion. Sometimes when you see these kids playing not just cricket but any kind of sports, you feel motivated to follow them,” he said, adding that he has had discussions with Cricfit founder Mikkail Vaswani on “creating a platform on a pan-India level where they (children) can explore their skills and enjoy the sports”.

Since last year, Sonu has turned focus on social causes. In 2020, amid Covid lockdown, he reportedly arranged transport to facilitate around 7.5 lakh migrant workers to reach home. He equipped frontline workers with masks and face shields, airlifted students stranded abroad and helped farmers in distress. He also launched Pravasi Rojgar, an app to help skilled and unskilled workers find jobs.

On work front, Sonu will next be seen in “Prithviraj” starring Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt and Manushi Chhillar, apart from a couple of films in the South.

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